Playing pokies for real money prizes comes at a cost. That is, no casino is giving out jackpots for free. This means you need to make a deposit and bet real money in order to vie for the pokies prizes. But you don’t want to throw your money wildly at the machines in order to get there; rather, it’s better to play wisely. For this, you need to start with a plan.
For some people budgeting and bankroll management come easy. They know how to set limits and track their spending instinctively. For others, however, this is not a natural skill. These people need guidance to set them on a secure path. Whichever camp you find yourself in, whether you’re an accountant yourself or a confirmed spendthrift, it’s worth thinking about what makes for effective online pokies bankroll management, and how you can best spend (and save) your funds.
1. Decide how much time and money you’re willing to spend per session vs. per month
When you’re looking to manage your pokies bankroll you need to set limits on two things actually. One is the amount of money you are spending and the other is the amount of time you are investing. To get to a good monthly bankroll, you will need to manage both of these things effectively and consistently.
Let’s start with time. When you’re considering time management, you will want to determine in advance what days of the week you will be playing pokies and for how long each time. So, for example, you may set yourself a weekly time allotment of four hours this month – one hour on Monday after work, one hour on Wednesday after work, and two hours on Saturdays. Once you’ve chosen your times, they are set in stone, until you rethink your time budget the following month. One of the main reasons you are setting time limits is to help you keep your gambling under control. The other is to help you create (and stick to) spending limits.
Since you pay for things like rent and utilities on a monthly basis and probably make a monthly budget for things like groceries and leisure time, you need to create a row on your spreadsheet for pokies as well. This amount should be appropriate to your overall lifestyle, and should not be taken from the money you need to live. Keep in mind, you should never ever be playing with money you cannot afford to lose. This is like the Holy Grail of safe pokies play.
If your monthly pokies allotment works out to $200, you now need to figure out how to spread that amount out over the course of the entire month. If you would like to be playing slots on a regular basis, as outlined above, then you will need to make your deposits accordingly. For example, you may choose to deposit $10 each session on weekdays and $20 on the weekend.
2. Stick to the limits you set
Once you have set your limits for the month that is it. You cannot add to this in any way. If you happen to lose your $10 in ten minutes on Monday, you’ll need to call it a wrap and wait until Wednesday to continue. No bargaining or trades allowed. That is, you cannot say: “Okay, so I’ll use my money for the rest of the week now instead”. This is a sure-fire way to stray from your budget and away from good bankroll management. Instead, you will need to walk away from the screen and wait for your next scheduled pokies day, which hopefully will be a luckier one.
3. Put your pokies winnings aside
If you win playing a pokies machine, you may be tempted to add that money to your bankroll. For the most part, we actually suggest otherwise. You don’t want to end up losing that hard-won money, right? In fact, your hope is to win money, not just keep spinning. So make sure to remember this as you’re playing, and treat cash winnings accordingly.
That means, if you are playing with $20 and end up winning $100 by the end of that particular session, go ahead and withdraw that money. Or, if you want, you can create a simple equation for yourself and use it as your guideline every single time you win. For example, you can say that if and when you win, you will keep 50% of your winnings in your casino account and withdraw 50%. If you want, you can adjust the numbers slightly to a 60-40 split, but we suggest no more than half stay in your account and the rest you withdraw. Even if you wanted to keep gambling, remember this: You can use the extra money you cashed out to make your next few deposits – making your next few sessions feel virtually free! Or if you feel like having a little fun, go ahead and treat a friend to a big night out.
4. Make big bets when you’re on a winning roll
While we don’t generally recommend playing with winnings, there’s a small difference here. If you are still in the middle of a gaming session and have accrued winnings, you can use this money to increase your stakes. While high stakes bets can burn through your cash quickly, when you have a little unplanned extra on hand, this is the time to give those higher wagers a go, as you can also afford the potential losses. As such, if you made a $20 deposit and suddenly find yourself at $200 on the plus side during your gaming session, for the remainder of this one session you can go ahead and bet on the maximum or more expensive games than you’d usually pay.
Remember, however, this free for all is over when the planned pokies session ends, so enjoy that feeling of being super flush while it lasts. And always make sure to keep in mind suggestion #3 as outlined above. That is, even if this tip appeals to you, you may still consider putting some of that cash on the side, for the inevitable rainy day.
5. Determine the types of bets you’d like to make in advance
Part of making your pokies bankroll last is not only how much you’ll play per session, or how many sessions you’ll play per month. You also need to think about the types of bets you will be placing. For example, if you have $20 budgeted for a session, if you bet $5 per spin, chances are you will burn through that $20 exceptionally fast. If you bet $0.05 per round, on the other hand, you will have plenty of chances to spin the reels. On the downside of this minimal bet, however, is that it will be very hard to accrue much in terms of winning. The key to success, therefore, is to find a good balance that works for your style of play – matching up somewhere between your desire to keep playing, the potential winnings, and your budget. To do this, you can set yourself something in the middle, like $0.25 cents per spin. Or do one spin at $5 for the thrill (and the off chance at a bigger jackpot), and the rest at a lower rate.
If you can’t seem to reach the spin amounts you’d like with your current breakdown, consider setting fewer sessions of pokies per month with your allotted budget, but at higher stakes. This will also give you room to play progressive pokies at the maximum pay lines for the really big jackpots. Again, all of this is a matter of math. It will take some thought – and only you know what is going to be right for you in the long-term.
6. Walk away from a losing streak
If you feel like luck isn’t on your side any given day, simply walk away. While we do not suggest playing for longer if you are on a winning streak, we do believe in cutting your losses and playing for less time on a poor pokies day. Even if you still have money in your casino account, there is no sense in chasing losses. You may end up losing more than you intended, or simply have less fun than you’d expect. So don’t go chasing losses, hoping to gain back what you lost by playing more and more. This likely won’t happen. As Kenny Rogers said in the legendary Gambler song “Know when to walk away, and know when to run.” This is key to pokies bankroll success.
7. Collect and play match bonuses and free spin bonuses
This is an obvious one. If you want to best manage your online pokies monthly bankroll, make sure to stay on the lookout for free spin offers. In fact, it is advisable to stay attuned to all bonus offers. The absolutely free ones are a given. But match deposit offers are also good. They give you extra money to play more pokies, so you can make more wagers in a given session, or wager higher amounts of money per spin, as you see fit.
Think of it like this, if you get a 100% bonus on a $20 deposit, you have $40 with which to play. Imagine the possibilities there…. More than that, with plenty of competition out there between online casinos to attract your business, this is something that is regularly attainable. That’s because many online casinos have match bonuses on a daily if not weekly basis. So take advantage of those bonus offers and use that extra money to make your monthly pokies budget go further.
That being said, make sure to pay attention to the terms & conditions regarding each bonus, in particular, the wagering requirements. If you do not meet the wagering requirements before you make a withdrawal, you may end up losing both the bonus money and the winnings. So pay attention and play/withdraw in kind.
8. Do your pokies research
It is always a good idea to do pokies research on a regular basis. No, we’re not saying sign up at a gambling school (is there such a thing?) or write a doctoral thesis on calculating odds per machine. We mean the basic type of research that helps you stay abreast of what’s going on out there in the pokies market.
New online pokies are being released on a regular basis, and each machine has slightly different features, pay tables and pay lines, as well as betting limits. So once in a while, have a flip through each casino’s virtual catalog and look at the specifics of what’s on offer. This can help you find new games that you will love, as well as ones that are better suited to your budget and particular playing style. Plus, it’s a great way to spice up your pokies play and keep things interesting. Part of what makes pokies fun, after all, is the variety.
And here’s a tip: Before you invest even a single cent in playing these pokies games, you can try them out for free. This will help you get a true sense as to whether or not the game is right for you before you blow your monthly budget on what you may end up considering a dud.
9. Keep calm and carry on
While playing online casino games is certainly an exciting activity, and it is hard to repress the thrill, it’s important to remember that you need to keep a clear head in order to gamble. This means you need to stay calm and lucid at all times, so you’ll be in the right mindset to execute good judgment in terms of wagers and sticking to your bankroll plan.
To this end, do not drink and gamble. Also, it’s not recommended that you play pokies if you’re feeling particularly exhausted. On such days, take a break. It is best to play when you are feeling at your best. Furthermore, don’t get caught up in what’s called a gambler’s high when you’re on a roll or get down on yourself if you’ve been losing for a bit. Overall, wins and losses should be taken in stride. They are not a reflection of your abilities or your luck. They are just a part of the game.